Boys planned to re-enact Columbine massacre in US at their school, court told

The pair are on trial at Leeds Crown Court.The pair are on trial at Leeds Crown Court.
The pair are on trial at Leeds Crown Court.
Two 14-year-old boys planned to kill pupils and teachers at their school in a re-enactment of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, a jury has been told.

The teenagers, both now 15, went on trial on Thursday charged with conspiracy to murder and other offences relating to an alleged planned attack at their school in the North Yorkshire market town of Northallerton.

Paul Greaney QC, prosecuting, told a jury that the boys hero-worshipped Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold - the teenagers who killed 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High, in Colorado, before shooting themselves.

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Mr Greaney said: "Eighteen years after the Columbine Massacre and nearly 4,500 miles away, two young teenagers in North Yorkshire became fascinated with Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

"Those two teenagers researched and discussed those killers and their interest in them turned to hero-worship. It was against that background that they plotted their own attack upon the school they attended.

"In that attack, they intended to shoot and kill other pupils and teachers against whom they held a grievance.

"They also, like their heroes, intended to deploy explosives and researched bombing-making techniques to that end."

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Mr Greaney said: "They intended a re-enactment of the Columbine High School Massacre although fortunately, in the result, they were stopped before their plans were put into action."

The defendants sat outside the dock, behind their lawyers, in Court 1 of Leeds Crown Court as Mr Greaney began to outline the case. Both sat with their mothers and one was wearing school uniform.

Both deny a joint charge of conspiracy to murder relating to a period between December 31 2016 and October 29 2017.

They have also each pleaded not guilty to a charge of intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence and a charge of encouraging or assisting an offence believing it would be committed.

One of the boys has denied one offence of the unlawful wounding of a teenage girl and another of aggravated burglary.

Neither of the defendants nor the school can be named.